It was date night in the land of Twinfamy, and with the Twins in the more-than-capable hands of my parents, my wife and I were ecstatic. With a whole night completely devoid of anything having to do with tiny people spread out before us, we were out on the town doing the wildest, craziest, most psychotic thing imaginable–picking up a few things at Babies “R” Us while we waited for our restaurant to open at 5 pm.
My wife always does this. We finally have a moment to ourselves to do something awesome like pound tequila shots just before bungee jumping off the Washington Monument and making love midair, but just as I’m getting on the phone to book the private jet, she’ll say something like, “You know, we really need to go get more paper towels at Target.”
And the worst part is, she’s freaking right. We do need more stupid paper towels.
As we exited Babies “R” Us with our deeply exciting date night purchases (toddler socks and Balmex), my wife suddenly turned to me and asked, “So, did you notice my new shoes today?”
I instinctively looked down at her feet for the first time that day, because, well, of course I hadn’t noticed her new shoes. I’m a guy, and I barely care about my own shoes. I’m especially not sure how–as someone with literally four pairs in my rotation–I’m expected to keep track of all 47 of hers and ascertain whether the currently worn pair is a new addition. Perhaps I should maintain a Wife Shoe Wiki.
Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless: So are you still being Mr. Mom?
Me: You know, the term “Dad” works just fine.
Sure, I could have just let it go. I could have replied, “Yes, I am still being Mr. Mom.” thus avoiding the awkward pause that ensued. Don’t take it personally, I used to tell myself. It’s just a (tired, lame, unfunny) joke. But this terminology is pinned on me often and I have recently decided I am done with just letting it go.
It’s not that I feel emasculated wrangling the Twins all week. I challenge any “man’s man” who thinks stay-at-home parenting is for sissies to actually try it for one day. (In fact, I imagine it could make for a thoroughly entertaining reality show, with each episode culminating in a grown man sobbing.) It’s definitely not easy, but at the same time it’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Many fathers would jump at the opportunity to spend as much time with their children as I do, especially at this age. I blinked when they were eight months old and was suddenly thrown into a DeLorean which promptly accelerated to 88 miles per hour, traversing space and time to today, as I open my eyes and find them eleven months old. Until I can get the Flux Capacitor to flux again, I make an effort each day to take it all in (and document it in HD) because I know how fleeting babyhood is.